Women often complain of pain during their menstrual cycles, but there are some women who suffer from a gynaecological disorder known as endometriosis which is even more painful. The root cause of this disorder can be traced to the Endometrium tissue which forms the inside lining of the uterus. When this tissue starts to affect the ovaries, ligaments supporting the uterus, the area between and around the vagina and the rectum, and sometimes the bladder and the bowel too, it means that the woman is a victim of Endometriosis.
Under normal circumstances, when a girl is at the stage of puberty, the lining of her uterus starts building up and breaks down every month or in every 28 days. This cycle is known as the menstrual cycle and it continues to happen till the menopause. Only time when the cycle stops is when the uterus instead of bursting gets a sperm via intercourse, that leads to pregnancy.
However, in case of Endometriosis, the normal menstrual cycle gets disrupted because of the lining of the tissue not being able to leave the body (unlike the bleeding that happens in menstrual cycles). This leads to internal bleeding and severe discomfort and pain in the vagina and the entire abdominal area. If the problem persists, then it can even lead to infertility or severe bowel problems.
While the exact cause of endometriosis is difficult to be diagnosed, most women who have suffered from it have been found to have certain hormonal imbalances which have led to severe conditions such as this. Those with weak immune systems are also likely to suffer from Endometriosis. Health experts and doctors have found out that those who have other women in their family suffering from this disorder are more likely to be a victim of Endometriosis.
Some of the common symptoms of endometriosis are pain during lovemaking, extreme fatigue, painful urination during periods, painful bowel movements, extreme case of menstrual cramps etc.
Usually, the process of ultrasound is used to detect any problems with the tissues in the body. However, it hardly helps in the detection of Endometriosis, because it does not have the adequate resolution that helps to visualise the adhesions. Only in case when an organ has grown a lot can it be visualised to detect Endometriosis.
In such a scenario, the best way to diagnose the problem is that of direct visualisation via the process of laparoscopy. It is a small surgical process with the help of which the medical expert will be able to tell about the intensity of the problem and the exact organs that it has affected. While in some cases the growth can be removed and the fertility can be preserved, there are chances of recurrence of the growth.
There is as such no definite cure for endometriosis, though treatments including NASIDS like ibuprofen, oral contraceptives with estrogen preventing ovulation etc. have been used. However, some treatments also have side effects. The only definite cure so far accepted by medical practitioners has been that of hysterectomy - removal of the ovaries when all treatments fail.